General Maintenance

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Before you start any performance mods on your car you have to make sure it is running good and everything is up to par.

I don’t have any pics of any of this stuff. It’s pretty straight forward and should be easy to do with a manual, jack, car stands, and a basic tool set. These are just the basic ideas with a few tips. If you are not sure what you are doing always consult your manual or mechanic. I take no responsibly for what you do to your car.

 

Oil Change.

Rotary engines should have there oil changed every 2500-3000 miles. I do mine at about 3000km’s (1800miles) during this period you should have gone through around 1 quart of oil if your metering oil pump (MOP) is working. (and assuming your not leaking any). If you are not using any get worried because if the MOP is not working it won’t be long before your engine goes. They rarely ever give out so don’t feel to scared 😉 It is recommended to use 20w50 oil for turbos and 10w30 is fine for non turbos. You should also change the oil filter at every oil change. I’m not going to get into a synthetic Vs non synthetic battle. Many people say not to use synthetic oil but on the other hand many people do with good results. What you use is up to you.

 

Tranny, rear diff fluid change.

I’m not sure how often these should be changed but if you yourself have never changed them I wouldn’t be too surprised if they are still original. You have to get under the car and find the 4 plugs on the turbo tranny (2 on non turbo). The bottom two (one non turbo) are to drain and the top two (one) is for filling. I would recommend “Redline” MT90 or MTL for fluid, although more money then the standard ones it is well worth it. Take the top fill plug(s) out first that way when you undo the bottom one(s) the air goes in the top and it drains better. Also this way if you can’t get the top ones off (too stiff); You still have fluid in so you can drive. Instead of having already drained it, DOH !! Once the old fluid is drained put the bottom plug(s) in and start to fill it up. The easiest way I found is with a one-way primer pump with a hose on either end. One end goes into the tranny and one into the bottle and start pumping. You want to fill it up till it starts coming out the top hole. The turbo tranny takes about 4 quarts and the non turbo takes less. Keep in mind if the car is jacked up sideways that you level will not be correct when it starts coming out.

The rear diff is basically the same with one hole on the top and bottom. I would recommend “Redline” 75w90 gear oil. Diff takes about 1.5 quarts.

 

Coolant and thermostat change.

Every year you should change your coolant. If you don’t remember the last time you changed your thermostat you should change that to; however you don’t need to every year but it wouldn’t hurt. To change the coolant you need to get under the front of the car and remove the black plastic bottom cover. It’s held in with about ten 10mm bolts. After this is removed you can now see the radiator and the drain plug on the bottom. Before you drain it you should undo the cap so it drains out better and also turn the heater switch to full hot. Get a big drain pan because about 8 quarts or so will come out. After it drains out I filled it up with pure water and let it ran till it warmed up (with the heater still on hot) then I drained it again. It will take a few times of draining and refilling before you actually get all the old coolant out. Just keep in mind that you will never get it all the water out and since it’s all water and you want a 50/50 water to antifreeze mix. You will want to add more antifreeze then coolant for the final fill. If you are going to change the thermostat do it now while it is drained. You want to remove the 3 bolts holding the pipe between the upper rad hose and the engine. Once you lift it up you will see the thermostat. Make sure the new one goes in the facing the right way. Only use a Factory Mazda one. Don’t buy one from the local auto shop. After you fill it up the last time let in run for a little while and recheck it. It will probably need more. Also make sure your overflow bottom is filled to the line.

 

Spark Plugs and Wires.

Spark plugs should be replaced every year or so. The wires probably every couple years. Make sure you get the right plugs. You will get 2 different sets of 2. (4 total) The top (trailing) and lower (leading) plugs are different. NGK are the ones you want. When you change them don’t mix up the wire placement. If possible change them one at a time. Apply a bit of anti seize grease so they will come out easy next time. The wires are also very straight forward; just don’t mix them up. You should change them one at a time.

Fuel Filter.

This one is probably commonly missed and is one of the more important ones. An old fuel filter will restrict the fuel going to the engine and could result in your engine not getting enough. The filter is a bit of a pain. To do it right you should first de-pressurize the fuel system so when you disconnect the filter you won’t have 30psi of fuel spraying everywhere. To do this you need to remove the carpet around the rear driver side shock tower (speaker). under the carpet there is a clip to unplug the fuel pump. Make sure you have the right one. Now with the car running unplug the clip and a few seconds later the car will sputter and die. You now have minimal amount of fuel in the lines, but don’t worry it will still come out!. I found the filter kind of hard to get to in my turbo. It is on the drivers side in the corner of the fender and firewall. There is a fuel line on the top and bottom. It is held in a bracket which is held to the fender by 2 bolts. Stick a drain pan under the filter and have some spare bolts handy to stick into the lines to stop the fuel from coming out. Undo both lines and bolts and remove the filter in the bracket. If you bought your filter from Mazda I believe they come with new brackets (but cost more) other wise you can easily remove the old filter from the bracket and replace it with the new one. Bolt the new one in and connect and lins. Now you should prime the fuel system to get pressure back into the lines. You want to find the jumper pin on the drivers side shock tower and ground it. Then turn to the car to “on” for 10-15 secs or so. You should hear the pump going during this time. After this the car should start right up. Once the car is running check underneath to make sure there are no leaks.

Other general things that should be done.

Check and set the timing. This requires a timing light which are pretty expensive. It’s best (and cheaper) just to get your mechanic to do it unless you have the urge (and money) to own every tool you would ever need.

Check and adjust the tps. You need to make a test light to do this. I’m sure it’s not that hard but I have never tried. As above If your mechanic knows anything about rotary’s it should take him 5 mins which is easier then making your own. I have also seen test lights for sale on ebay for around $10.

Bleed the brakes and the clutch. This should be left to the mechanic unless you know what you are doing. The brakes are not something you want failing. After bleeding the brakes they will feel much better and the ABS will work much faster